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SONGS FROM TH 
RENCHE5 



SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



SONGS FROM THE 
TRENCHES * * * 

By CAPT. C. W. BLACKALL 



LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANl^ MCMXV 



. 



Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London. 



DEDICATED, BY KIND PERMISSION, TO 

BRIGADIER-GENERAL S. T. B. LAWFORD, C.B, 



824775 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

GRATIS ........ 13 

THE SONG OF THE TRENCH . . . . . 14 

THE NUT'S LAMENT . . . . . . 17 

SEVEN DAYS' LEAVE . . . . . . 19 

DIGGING . . . . . . . . 21 

SKY-PILOTS ........ 24 

THE PADRE. ....... 26 

W. G. C. G 30 

"ATTACK!" 32 

To W. K.-F 35 

BILLETS ........ 37 

RELIEVING ........ 40 

SOMEWHERE. ....... 43 

THE GUNS AT NEUVE CHAPELLE . . . . 45 

THEIR DUG-OUT ....... 47 

THE RATION RASHER ...... 50 

STRETCHER-BEARERS . . . . . . 52 

A NIGHT OF HORROR . . . . . 54 

THEN AND Now ....... 57 

Applications for permission to publish any of the verses in this 
volume with a musical setting should be made to the Publisher. 



PREFACE. 

IN the following rhymes, which make no pretension 
to literary merit, I have endeavoured to portray life 
in and around the trenches as I have seen it during 
several months of personal observation. Rejoining, as 
I did, my old regiment after several years in the 
theatrical profession, and coming, as it were, straight 
from the artificial to the real, enabled me to realise 
more fully than ever the wonderful pluck, endurance, 
and unfailing cheerfulness of our men. In the lines 
entitled "The Song of the Trench" I have tried to 
describe some of the discomforts and hardships suffered 
by the troops in the winter 1914-15, and which were 
borne by them without murmur or complaint. Truly, 
the men are splendid. I may mention that all the 
incidents described in this little volume are either facts 
or founded on fact ; and some, too, alas ! are written 
around those who are no longer with us. 



SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



GRATIS. 13 



GRATIS. 

I'll give you a piece of advice, my lad. 

As you like, you can take it or not. 

If you do, you may possibly live to be hanged ; 

If you don't, you'll be probably shot. 

So take it, or leave it, or tell me to go 

To blazes, and take a back bench ; 

But my warning is this, and, believe me, I know: 

" Keep your blooming head down in the trench." 



14 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



THE SONG OF THE TRENCH. 
DECEMBER, 1914. 

This is the song of the blooming trench : 
It's sung by us, and it's sung by the French ; 
It's probably sung by the German Huns ; 
But it isn't all beer, and skittles, and buns. 
It's a song of water, and mud, and slime, 
And keeping your eyes skinned all the time. 
Though the putrid "bully" may kick up a stench, 
Remember, you've got to stick to your trench 
Yes, stick like glue to your trench. 

You dig while it's dark, and you work while it's light, 
And then there's the "listening post" at night. 
Though you're soaked to the skin and chilled to the 

bone ; 
Though your hands are like ice, and your feet like stone ; 



THE SONG OF THE TRENCH. 15 

Though your watch is long, and your rest is brief, 
And you pray like hell for the next relief; 
Though the wind may howl, and the rain may drench, 
Remember, you've got to stick to your trench 
Yes, stick like mud to your trench. 



Perhaps a bullet may find its mark, 
And then there's a funeral after dark ; 
And you say, as you lay him beneath the sod, 
A sportsman's soul has gone to his God. 
Behind the trench, in the open ground, 
There's a little cross and a little mound ; 
And if at your heart-strings you feel a wrench, 
Remember, he died for his blooming trench 
Yes, died like a man for his trench. 

There's a rush and a dash, and they're at your wire, 

And you open the hell of a rapid fire ; 

The Maxims rattle, the rifles flash, 

And the bombs explode with a sickening crash. 



16 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

You give them lead, and you give them steel, 
Till at last they waver, and turn, and reel. 
You've done your job there was never a blench 
You've given them hell, and you've saved your trench ; 
By God, you've stuck to your trench! 

The daylight breaks on the rain-soaked plain 
(For some it will never break again), 
And you thank your God, as you're " standing to," 
You'd your bayonet clean, and your bolt worked true. 
For your comrade's rifle had jammed and stuck, 
And he's lying there, with his brains in the muck. 
So love your gun as you haven't a wench 
And she'll save your life in the blooming trench 
Yes, save your life in the trench. 



THE NUT'S LAMENT. 17 



THE NUT'S LAMENT. 

There's something that's been worrying me consider- 
ably of late, 
And if you kindly listen, my position I will state. 

At home I've got my motor-car, my hunters, and my 

dogs, 
And yet I've come out here to fight a stinking lot of 

hogs, 

Though why on earth I did it, I really cannot state ; 
But that's what has been worrying me considerably 

of late. 

Why, in the name of goodness, I couldn't be content 
To stay at home and live as I was evidently meant ; 
Why risk my life where bullets fly, and whistle as 

they pass. 

The more I think, the more I'm sure I am a bally ass. 

c 



1 8 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

When shells of high-explosive kind go hurtling over- 
head, 

I'd infinitely rather be safe at home in bed. 
And when a bullet buzzes by, I try to keep quite cool ; 
But whoever says he likes it, is either knave or fool. 



I never was a soldier, and never meant to be, 

Yet here I'm being shot at by a brutal enemy. 

Am I quite mad, or drunk, or both, or slightly off 
my "tte" ? 

That's the question that's been worrying me consider- 
ably of late. 

I suppose I've got to stick it till the bally war is 

won ; 
I'm bored to tears to think of it, but when it's past 

and done, 
What yarns I'll spin to them at home, what tales I 

will narrate ! 
But still I have been worrying considerably of late. 



SEVEN DAYS' LEAVE. 19 



SEVEN DAYS' LEAVE. 

Bravely acted, little lady ; 
Bravely acted, wife of mine. 
Though I know your heart is aching 
Almost to the point of breaking, 
Not a word of what you're feeling, 
Only just a teardrop stealing. 
Such a splendid little lady, 
Such a splendid wife of mine! 

Bravely spoken, little lady; 
Bravely spoken, wife of mine. 
Just a tightening of your fingers 
While your hand in mine still lingers ; 
Just " God bless and keep you, dearest 
In my thoughts you're always nearest." 
Such a sportsman, little lady ; 

Such a sportsman, wife of mine ! 

C 2 



20 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

Is it fair, my little lady ? 
Fair to you, O wife of mine ? 
Seven days we two together, 
Then we part, perhaps for ever. 
(God! those days, though only seven, 
Seemed a little glimpse of Heaven!) 
That's the question, little lady. 
Yours the answer, wife of mine. 



DIGGING. 21 



DIGGING. 

"A digging party of 35 men, with full complement of 

N.C.O.'s, will parade under 2nd Lieut. at 6.30 p.m., 

and will proceed to the cross-roads , where they will 

be met by the R.E. officer." 

"Where are you going a-digging to-night, Subaltern 

Officer young?" 

"We're going to dig at the same old spot, 
Where a rifle's fixed, and the cross-fire's hot. 
If you ask me, I call it all bally rot." 
Said the Subaltern Officer young. 



" Where are you going a-digging to-night, O you 

Sergeant of the Line ? " 
"We're going to dig in the forward sap, 
Where the R.E. bloke got one through his cap, 
And there's always the chance of a tidy scrap." 
Said the Sergeant of the Line. 



22 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

" Where are you going a-digging to-night, Lance- 

Corporal newly fledged?" 
"We're going to dig in the No Man's Land, 
And we're not proposing to take the band, 
Which probably you wouldn't understand." 
Said the Corporal newly fledged. 

"Where are you going a-digging to-night, O you 

Private Soldier-man ? " 

" We're goin' to dig where our Officer goes, 
An' 'e don't care if it rains or it snows ; 
So where 'e'll be takin* us, Gawd only knows." 
Said the Private Soldier-man. 



" Well, and how did the digging party go, Subaltern 

Officer young?" 

"Oh, just very much about as I said; 
One wretched devil got hit in the head. 
A damn good man, too. Well, I'm off to my bed." 
Said the Subaltern Officer young. 



DIGGING. 23 

"Well, and how did the digging party go, O you 

Sergeant of the Line ? " 
" Nothing of any particular note. 
Sixty-four Williams stopped his with his throat, 
And I got one through the sleeve of my coat." 
Said the Sergeant of the Line. 

"Well, and how did the digging party go, Lance- 

Corporal newly fledged ? " 
" We were sapping out in front of the wire, 
When they got old Bill with a dropping fire. 
Man ! he wheezed for all like a punctured tyre." 
Said the Corporal newly fledged. 

"Well, and how did the digging party go, O you 

Private Soldier-man ? " 

But the Soldier-man had taken a chance 
His number's up, you can see at a glance. 
He's hit in the neck, and " somewhere in France " 
" Rest you well, O you Soldier-man ! " 



24 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



SKY-PILOTS. 

Puffs of smoke before you, 

Puffs of smoke behind ; 
Puffs of smoke each side of you 

Floating on the wind ; 
Puffs of smoke that make your track 

Like a fleecy lane ; 
It's such a pretty sight to watch 

A British aeroplane. 

Climbing up to Heaven, 

Planing to the ground; 
Dodging round about the clouds, 

Banking sharply round ; 
Daring all and keeping cool 

Needs a level brain ; 
But you've got it in the pilot of 

A British aeroplane. 



SKY-PILOTS. 25 

Puffs of smoke above you, 

Puffs of smoke below ; 
Puffs of smoke that follow you 

Everywhere you go ; 
Puffs of smoke that cling to you 

Like the curse of Cain ; 
It's worth your while to stand and watch 

A British aeroplane. 



26 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



THE PADRE. 

'E's a sportsman is our Padre, 

Of that there ain't a doubt. 
'E don't chuck religion at yer, 

An' preach at yer an' spout; 
An' if 'e 'ears yer cussin', 

As yer fillin' up ther bags, 
'E jest ses, " Fumigate your throat," 

An' 'ands yer out some fags. 



'E don't take all fer granted 

That yer murderers an' thieves, 

An' always tell yer, now's ther time 
Fer turn in' over leaves. 



THE PADRE. 27 

'E'll wander round ther trenches, 
Jest to pass ther time o' day. 

An' there ain't a bloke as doesn't feel 
A man 'as passed that way. 



I remember once, near Wipers, 

When things was pretty 'ot, 
An' yer 'ad ter keep yer nut down 

If yer didn't want it shot ; 
While they was fairly plasterin' 

As fast as they could load, 
'E came ridin' mark yer, ridiri 

All down ther Menin Road. 

; E was dossin' in a "staminay,"* 

Pyjamas all complete, 
When a 'igh-explosive carried 

'Arf the 'ouse into the street 

* Estaminet. 



28 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

While other blokes was runnin' wild, 
An* kickin' up a row, 

'E calmly arsts, "Pray, what is the 
Correct procedure now ? " 



They tells 'im as 'e'd better 

Do a bunk for all 'e's worth, 
As 'is bloomin' " staminay " is not 

Ther safest spot on earth. 
But 'e 'as a look around 'im, 

An' wags 'is bally 'ead ; 
Ses 'e, " It seems quite restful now," 

An' back 'e goes to bed. 



But 'e fairly put ther lid on 

When we made ther last attack 

If 'is lads was goin' ter cop it, 
'E weren't fer 'angin' back. 



THE PADRE. 29 

So 'e 'ops out of ther trenches 

Level with ther foremost 'ound, 

An' natural like J e stops one, 
An' gets a little wound. 



'E's a sportsman is our Padre, 

Of that there ain't a doubt. 
'E don't chuck religion at yer, 

An' preach at yer an' spout. 
Still, 'e'll show ther way ter 'Eaven 

That's if anybody can 
But we'd follow 'im to 'ell ; 'cos why ? 

Our Padre 'e's a man. 



3O SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



W. G. C. G.* 

(Killed in action, April I3th, 1915.) 

Possessor of an honoured name, 
Right nobly he upheld the same. 
Now on the Roll of England's fame 
His name is writ. 



Among his gifts the magic wand 
Of influence he had command, 
Yet scorned its use, and served his land 
With British grit. 



* W. G. C. Gladstone, M.P. 



W. G. C. G. 31 

His stay with us was all too brief, 
Too quickly came his "next relief"; 
Yet One above, Who knows our grief, 
Had thought it best. 



Though sadly short his life's brief span, 
Of this be truly sure we can : 
A very gallant gentleman 

Now takes his rest. 



32 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



" ATTACK ! " 

You are standing watch in hand, 

All waiting the command, 

While your guns have got their trenches fairly set. 

When they lengthen up the range, 

You feel a trifle strange 

As you clamber up the sand-bag parapet. 



It's a case of do or die 

Still, you rather wonder why 

Your mate drops down beside you with a screech ; 

But you're very soon aware, 

When a bullet parts your hair, 

That HE'S not the only pebble on the beach. 



"ATTACK!" 33 

It's each man for himself, 

For your Captain's on the shelf, 

And you don't know if he's wounded or he's dead. 

So never count the cost, 

Or your comrades who are lost, 

But keep the line on forging straight ahead. 

The high-explosive shell 

Has blown their wire to hell, 

And their trench is like a muddy, bloody drain. 

They are bolting left and right, 

And the few that stay to fight 

Well, not many see their Fatherland again ! 

But there's one cove that you've missed, 

And he cops you in the wrist 

As you're stooping down to help a wounded chum. 

Though you're feeling mighty faint, 

As you're not a blooming saint, 

You blow his blasted brains to kingdom come! 

D 



34 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

You've done your little job, 

And you drop down with a sob, 

For you're feeling half a man and half a wreck. 

And you say a little prayer 

Which for you is rather rare 

For you got it in the arm, and not the neck. 

When the evening shadows fall, 

You do your best to crawl, 

Till the stretcher-bearers find you in a creek. 

Then you feel as right as rain, 

And forget the aching pain, 

For you'll see Old England's shores within a week. 



To W. K.-F. 35 



To W. K.-F. 

Our little Doctor bless his heart! 
He of the face without a wrinkle, 
He of the calm and childlike eye, 
Though in the corner lurks a twinkle. 



I see him now his furry coat, 
His woolly cap and as he passes, 
You'll note, if you've your Dickens read, 
He wears almost Pickwickian glasses. 



The sick and lame before him pass, 
And passing leave their cares behind them. 
But woe betide the shirkers, for 
He'll spot them, and, by gad, he'll grind them. 

D 2 



36 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

At even, when the sun is set, 
And silenced is the Maxim's clatter, 
He'll drink his tot and pass the time 
With merry badinage and chatter. 



But when " The Doctor's wanted here " 
Comes from where bullets fly the thickest 
What cares he for the risks he runs ? 
His hands are deftest, surest, quickest. 

" A life's a life, no matter whose " 
(His motto is, or so I place it). 
" If 'tis a race for life or death- 
Why, damn it, take your chance and race it ! " 

So when we land on England's shore, 
Where ruby lips wait to caress him, 
I hope we'll meet and drink this toast : 
" Here's to our little Doctor ! Bless him ! " 



BILLETS. 37 



BILLETS. 

(Sung on the march back from the trenches.) 

Back to the billets again, boys, 

Back when the sun's on the wane ; 

Let's drink a bumper and fill it 

Again and again and again. 

Back from the firing-line, boys, 

To our little grey home in the west, 

To have what we've bally well worked for 

A well-earned and jolly good rest. 

(Troops arrive at billets, and orders for following day are read out.) 

Battalion orders by Colonel Blank : 
This order applies to every rank. 



38 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

" Physical drill from seven to eight, 
To get your blood to circulate. 
Rifle inspection from nine to ten, 
A minute or two to yourself, and then 
A route march at eleven. 
Orderly room at half-past two, 
Just to give you something to do. 
Brushwood cutting from three to four, 
A fatigue or two, or it may be more." 
(Oh, this is absolute heaven !) 

At last your work is done for the day ; 
On the straw your tired limbs you lay, 
When, without the slightest warning, 
The Orderly Sergeant comes rushing back : 
" Stand to, there, quick, for a night attack ! " 
And you finish at five in the morning. 

Back to the billets again, boys, 
Back when the sun's on the wane ; 



BILLETS. 39 

Let's drink a bumper and fill it 

Again and again and again. 

Back from the firing-line, boys, 

To our little grey home in the west, 

To have what we've bally well worked for 

A well-earned and jolly good rest. 



4o SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



RELIEVING. 

The Battalion will relieve the ist Batt. Blankshire 
Regt. in the trenches at 8.30 p.m. . . . C Company will 

parade in time to arrive at Dressing Station at 

8 p.m., where they will be met by a guide of C Company, 
Blankshire Regt. 

Is the guide for C Company anywhere here ? 

Oh, there you are ! Right. Close up there in 

rear ! 

No, wait till B Company's over the bank. 
All right now, I think. Yes. Form single rank ! 
Pass the word there to stop that infernal chatter ; 
Don't let your canteens kick up such a clatter ! 
This plank's rather slippy ; watch your step there 

in Splash ! 

Stop that language there, will you ? Mark over ! 

Crash ! 



RELIEVING. 41 

Phew ! That was a big 'un. Is anyone hurt ? 
You two stay behind ; dig him out of the dirt. 
Look out ! Here's another. Down into the ditch ! 
Ah, well over that time ! Where did she pitch ? 
Battalion Headquarters! My word, what a lark! 
Where the devil's that guide ? By gad, but it's dark ! 
Pass the word for that guide. Where on earth have 

you been? 

What ? Call yourself a guide, and fall in the latrine ! 
Well, let's get a move on ; we can't be far off. 
Will somebody smother that man with the cough ? 
Oh, good evening! I fear we're a bit overdue, 
But the guide lost his way, and the country was 

new. 

Picks, shovels, flares, and barbed wire complete ? 
No, I'm sure they're all right ; I'll sign the receipt. 
Drying up nicely. Wet draining fast ? 
Good! Thanks, Sergeant-Major, we're all in at last. 
Listening Posts out and all sentries relieved ? 
And the man who got buried ? Oh, he's been 

retrieved. 



42 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

Well, there's nothing to keep you ; I'll carry on now. 

Yes, I think that by this time I ought to know how. 

You're leaving this whisky ? By Jove, you're all 
right ! 

Here's a good time in billets. Good luck and good- 
night ! 



SOMEWHERE. 43 



SOMEWHERE. 

'E was shot in the 'ead at daybreak, 
And died with the sunset's glow. 

We didn't know much about 'im, 

For there wasn't much ter know. 



'E was just fresh out from England, 
And didn't quite know the risk, 

But we got 'is name and number 
From 'is 'dentification disc. 



'E was only a bit of a youngster, 
And yet 'e'd the 'eart of a man ; 

There was never a word or murmur 
While 'is life's sands slowly ran. 



44 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

We dug 'is grave in the twilight, 

While 'is mates was "standirT to," 

But when it came ter the service, 
We didn't know wot ter do. 



So " Our Father, which art in 'Eaven " 
(For we all know 'ow that goes), 

We said ; and tho' 'twas our only prayer, 
I reckon "Our Father" knows. 



THE GUNS AT NEUVE CHAPELLE. 45 



THE GUNS AT NEUVE CHAPELLE. 

" Granny " she started the chorus, 

The " four- point- sevens" chipped in, 

The "six-inch howitzers" did their best 

To augument the din. 

The " thirteen and eighteen pounders " 

Contributed their bit, 

And the " armoured train " got a swollen brain 

When it registered a hit. 

The "rifle" rattled a ragtime 

Like a syncopated coon, 

The " anti-aircraft's " object seemed 

To spiflicate the moon. 

The " mortars " did their damnedest, 

Or, rather, did their worst, 

And the " drain-pipe gun " played hell with the Hun, 

Till it ultimately burst. 



46 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

The "Maxim" muttered the music, 

The "pom-pom" marked the time, 

And the whimper and whir of the shell o'erhead 

Out-voiced a ruthless rhyme. 

Oh, the guns all clamoured the chorus, 

Both large and small as well, 

From "Grandmamma" to the "armoured car," 

That morning at Neuve Chapelle. 



THEIR DUG-OUT. 47 



THEIR DUG-OUT. 

The Company Sergeant-Major 

And the Company Q.M.S. 

Have the snuggest little dug-out 

And a most superior mess. 

And if anything you're needing, 

It's always to be found 

In their handy little, sandy little dug-out underground. 

If you're visiting your sentries, 
And the night is wet and cold ; 
If you're feeling rather fed up, 
And just a trifle old, 
You'll find a drop of something hot, 
To finish up your round, 

In their rummy little, hummy little dug-out under- 
ground. 



48 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

You suddenly get orders 

That you're going to be relieved. 

Your Sergeant-Major's missing, 

And you feel distinctly grieved. 

"Hi, you! Where's the Sergeant-Major?" 

"Well, sir, judging by the sound, 

In his dozy little, cosy little dug-out underground." 

All's quiet in the trenches, 

And you're standing idly by, 

When you see a Minnehaha* 

Come sailing through the sky. 

Valour ? Discretion has it : 

And you're, with a blithesome bound, 

In their funky little, bunky little dug-out underground. 

You get an urgent "memo," 
" Render a return of tools." 

* T. A.'s term for the German trench mortar shells. 



THEIR Duo-Oux. 49 

No one seems to know the numbers, 

So you curse them all for fools. 

But you bet your Q.M.S. is, 

For a penny to a pound, 

In his snuggy little, fuggy little dug-out underground. 

They're a brace of rare good sportsmen, 
So give them each their due. 
You'd do your damnedest for them, 
And they'd do the same for you. 
So I wish them back to England, 
With a comfy little wound, 

From their frowsy little, lousy little dug-out under- 
ground. 



5o SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



THE RATION RASHER. 

" There always seems to be someone cooking bacon 
in the trenches." Extract from an Officer's letter. 

A peculiar stench is the smell of the trench 

Of that there is no denying ; 
But at every post what strikes you most 

Is the smell of bacon frying. 

The mouldy beef of some past relief, 
I grant you, is somewhat trying ; 

But to counteract, you've always the fact 
Of the smell of bacon frying. 

At another time the chloride of lime 

Will almost start you crying; 
But banish the niff by having a sniff 

At the smell of bacon frying. 



THE RATION RASHER. i 

The night has been wet, and you see with regret 

Odd garments hung out drying ; 
The odour is quaint, and you bless the saint 

Who invented bacon frying. 

It haunts you by night, and in daylight bright, 
It will haunt you when you're dying : 

That insidious smell that you know so well 
The smell of the bacon frying. 



E 2 



52 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



STRETCHER-BEARERS. 

" Stretcher-bearers, at the double ! " 
"What the devil's all the trouble?" 
" Stretcher-bearers wanted here ! " 
" Coming right away, old dear." 
" Where's that stretcher party ? Quick ! " 
" We'll be there in half a tick. 
Don't you make a song about it; 
We'll be there, so don't you doubt it." 

" Duck yer nut, Bill, or they'll 'ave us." 

" Where's the bloke behind the travus ? " * 

" Copp'd one through the parapet ! " 

" Made a nasty 'ole, I'll bet." 

" All right, matey, where's yer dressin' ? " 

"You ain't 'urt, so that's a blessin'." 

* Traverse. 



STRETCHER-BEARERS. 53 

" Move yer after dark to-night." 
" 'E's a goner, Bill, all right." 



See them now in the attack, 
Bandaging and helping back. 
Heavy fire and heavy loss ; 
White brassard and scarlet cross. 
Collected, calm, magnificent, 
Though the very skies are rent. 
Little band of heroes all, 
Just obeying duty's call. 

Stretcher-bearers ever ready, 
Stretcher-bearers ever steady. 
Where your comrades fast are dropping, 
Gad ! you take a lot of stopping. 
Playing well the game in hand: 
What price now the good old Band? 
Stretcher-bearers, staunch and true, 
Hats off, everyone, to you ! 



54 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 



A NIGHT OF HORROR. 

I heard a shell come sailing, 
Come sailing o'er to me ; 
I looked around for cover, 
No cover could I see. 
I flung myself face downwards 
Upon my manly chest, 
And in a six-inch puddle 
Of slime I came to rest. 



Nearer and yet still nearer 
That paralysing sound 
Came whimpering towards me. 
With fear my limbs were bound, 
My courage long had left me, 
I lay like one accurs't, 



A NIGHT OF HORROR. 55 

And still that awful wailing ! 

When would the damned thing burst ? 



My nerves were strained to breaking, 
My senses seemed afloat, 
The suffocating mud and slime 
Were trickling down my throat. 
With fingers crooked like talons, 
I dug as one distraught. 
Never a man fought harder 
For life than I then fought. 

" Give me a minute longer ! " 

I prayed, and dug again. 

The sky with shells seemed teeming, 

To my disordered brain. 

Too late ! The wail had changed to 

A rushing, mighty shriek. 

My end was nigh upon me, 

I lay with blenched cheek. 



56 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

An icy hand now gripped me, 
I knew my hour had come. 
I tried to cry for succour, 
My parched lips were dumb. 
A rending crash! Ah, Heavens! 
I woke! Upon the floor. 
A moke was softly braying 
Outside the billet door ! 



THEN AND Now. 57 



THEN AND NOW. 

THEN. 

The Boer War was a picnic, 
An exciting kind of rag. 
You made a drive on Blockhouse lines, 
And talked about the " bag." 
You fought around the country, 
From the Free State to Natal, 
From Transvaal to Cape Colony 
And rarely lost a pal. 



It was trek, trek, trek, trek, 
From rise to set of sun. 
Trek, trek, trek, trek, 
Another day's march done. 



58 SONGS FROM THE TRENCHES. 

The rolling veldt and the dusty trail, 

And the trek-ox crawling like a snail, 

And a thirst that you couldn't quench with a pail 

When you got them on the run. 



NOW. 

But this show is no bean-feast, 
No "get them on the hop." 

It's ammunition, guns, and lives 


To get you out on top. 

Pals! You've lost them by the score. 
Yourself! The gods decide. 
Dig in, and stick it like a man, 
And wait the turn of tide. 

Oh, it's dig, dig, dig, dig, 
From set of sun to dawn. 
Dig, dig, dig, dig, 
From dewy eve till morn. 



THEN AND Now. 59 

The trench that is always falling in, 

A punishment fit for a deadly sin ; 

But you've got to dig, as you've got to win. 

Thank God, you are British-born! 



Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London. 



KITCHENER CHAPS. 

By A. NEIL LYONS, Author of " Arthur's," &c. 
Cloth, Crown 8vo., is. net. 

SOME PRESS OPINIONS. 

Times. " Mr. Neil Lyons writes as the friend and observer of 
the new army. . . . Mr. Lyons is a master of cockney humour. 
... As to nearly everything that Mr. Lyons' * cockneys ' say 
we have an instinctive feeling that it is exactly right." 

Morning Post. " It is on the one side an antidote to the senti- 
mental and mawkish, and on another a supplement to what may be 
called the purely professional soldier tale. It should be widely read." 

Outlook. "A writer who, in such times as these, sets out to make 
us laugh and succeeds in his amiable intent deserves praise." 



JOFFRE CHAPS, 

AND SOME OTHERS. 

By PIERRE MILLE, Author of " Under 
the Tricolour." 

Translated by B. DRILLIEN. 
Cloth, Crown 8vo., is. net. 

M. Pierre Mille has already made a name for himself as a 
writer about the French "Tommies," more particularly with regard 
to the Colonial Infantry, so it is perhaps natural that now he should 
write a book about the French soldiers in the Great War. Hence, 
the publication of this book, which is a collection of stories record- 
ing their sayings and doings on various occasions during the present 
conflict. 

JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, W. 



UNDER THE TRICOLOUR. 

By PIERRE MILLE. Translated by B. DRILLIEN, 
with Illustrations in colour by HELEN McKiE. 
Crown 8vo., 3^. 6d. net. 

PRESS OPINIONS. 

Morning Post. " The most hilarious of all the stories . . . 
would make the sides of an archbishop ache with laughter ; it is an 
irresistible thing." 

Sunday Times. " The stories are veritable gems. No student 
of the soldier spirit or of the psychology of our gallant allies should 
miss this book. Admirably translated and excellently illustrated." 

Evening Standard. " We commend the book to the ordinary 
man . . . the tales are well told and abound in happy touches." 



BARNAVAUX. 

By PIERRE MILLE, Author of " Under the Tricolour." 
Translated by B. DRILLIEN, with 8 Illustrations in 
colour by HELEN McKiE. Crown 8vo., 3^. 6d. net. 

Those who have read " Under the Tricolour " will recognise 
Barnavaux as an old friend, as he is the "hero" of many of the 
stories in both works. All the stories are entirely original, and 
they are striking in different ways, many of them being worthy of 
comparison with the works of the greatest French short-story writers. 



LOUISE AND BARNAVAUX. 

By PIERRE MILLE, Author of " Under the Tricolour." 
Translated by B. DRILLIEN, with 8 Illustrations in 
colour by HELEN McKiE. Crown 8vo., 3^. 6d. net. 

This is yet another volume of short stories dealing mostly with 
the French Colonial soldiery, and the ever-delightful Barnavaux is 
again one of the most conspicuous figures. 

Some of these stories are undoubtedly among the best that 
M. Mille has written. 



JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, W. 



THE WAY THEY HAVE 
IN THE ARMY. 

By PRIVATE THOMAS O'TOOLE. 
Crown 8vo., Cloth, is. net. 

CONTENTS: 

1. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SOLDIER 

AND THE CIVILIAN. 

2. THE NEW RECRUIT. 

3. TOMMY'S PRIVATE LANGUAGE. 

4. How THE ARMY is ARRANGED. 

5. ClNDERELLAS OF THE ARMY. 

6. SENTRY Go. 

7. OFFICERS' BADGES OF RANK. 

8. MILITARY ETIQUETTE. 

9. THE COMMANDING OFFICER. 

10. PRIVATE TOMMY ATKINS, C.B. 

11. THE REGIMENTAL SERGEANT-MAJOR. 

12. TOMMY'S GRUB. 

13. THE SOLDIER'S WIFE. 

14. NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS. 

15. OFFICERS. 

1 6. NICKNAMES AND OTHER DISTINCTIONS. 

17. REGIMENTAL COLOURS. 

1 8. COURTS-MARTIAL. 

19. THE SOLDIER'S RANK, RIBBONS, &c. 

20. THE WOUNDED. 

21. ODDS AND ENDS. 

JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, W. 



IN GENTLEST GERMANY. 

BY HUN SVEDEND. 

Translated from the Svengalese by E. V. LUCAS, 
with 45 Illustrations by GEORGE MORROW. 

Third Edition. Illustrated Paper Wrapper, is. net. 

PX2SSS OPINIONS. 

Morning Post. "It is, indeed, a triumph of happy humour." 
Daily Mail. 11 ' One of the few real consolations of the war." 
Daily News and Leader. "A delightful parody. . . . The 
author has been at pains to select phrases from the original and 
turn them to the best account." 

Evening Standard. "The book is both amusing and fair- 
tempered. Mr. Lucas succeeds admirably." 



SONGS AND SONNETS FOR 
ENGLAND IN WAR TIME. 

Being a Collection of Lyrics inspired 
by the Great War by Various Authors. 

With a Cover Design by VERNON HILL. 
Crown 8vo., Paper, is. net ; Cloth, 2S. net. 

SOME PRESS OPINIONS. 

Pall Mall Gazette. " Altogether the book, with its 50 poets, 
its martial and humane spirit, its timely appearance, and its artistic 
format, makes a singularly gratifying contribution to the literature 
of the war." 

Times. "Competent verse written in a fine spirit ... a 
volume worth possessing." 

Sunday Times. "We have every reason to be proud of our 
poets, who in this volume are in truth ' the abstracts and brief 
chronicles of the time.'" 

JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, W. 



B 




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